Despite the pain and sorrow that each present day brings, we rejoice that as a parish we can come together in unity and prayer, supporting our parishioners whose family and friends are directly involved in the current war in Ukraine.
We have been praying, and will continue to pray the canon in honour of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, commending the whole world to the care of Our Lady, who is ‘more spacious than the heavens’, knowing that beneath her omophorion there is a safe-place and refuge for all – and in our ROCOR parish, that is Ukrainians, Russians, Moldovans, Romanians, Belarusians, and British members of the faithful.
Just as the knights and warriors of previous centuries, took off their swords when entering the house of God, so we leave our geo-politics and our passports at the door of the church, as we unite to pray for the suffering, the wounded and dying, the terrified, the injured and maimed, the hungry, the homeless and destitute.
In Church we should only have one I.D. through the water of baptism and the chrismal ‘seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit’: we are simply Christians, who bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
We pray for all leaders; for all who make the ‘big’ decisions of the world; for the Lord and His Most Holy Mother to bring the light of reason and understanding to the powerful and equally to the powerless; as our prayer is offered with an urgency and a fervour that we may have never felt before, and with compassion, forgiveness, humility, and love.
“For prayer our teacher is the Lord Himself, but we must seek to humble our souls. He who prays aright has the peace of God in his soul. The man of prayer should feel tenderly towards every living thing. The man of prayer loves all men and has compassion for all, for the grace of the Holy Spirit has taught him love.”